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How to Install Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting

by Chelsea Guinn (2018-11-14)

A low voltage lighting system generally consists of a transformer which is plugged into an outlet on the wall, and results in 110-volt electricity being generated at around 12 volts. Then, the current passes through a Low Voltage Cabling voltage cable for lighting the fixtures placed on your home's exterior. They can be used for eliminating your landscaping, walkways, and other features on your house's exterior which you want to enhance during the night.

Tips on installing outdoor lighting

1. Get a sketch of your home and every other aspect related to it on a graph paper. Each graph paper block can be made to represent your desired dimension; the measurement can be varied depending on how big your house is.

2. Choose important points, like those areas which you want to make very attractive, like a fountain, a statue, etc. Restrict the focus object to a maximum of 2, and the remaining lighting can be used as accents.

3. Choose the fixtures and place them on your plan, like the path lights, spot lights, etc. You can refer to the "Cable/Fixture Layout Guides" for spacing out lamps and knowing more on how to install low voltage outdoor lighting.

4. Choose where the transformer is to be located. Connect all the fixtures and use a graph paper for calculation of the total length of wire that you need, which would be restricted to a maximum of 250W on a length of 12 gauge cable.

5. Calculate the size of the transformer by adding all the individual fixtures. The house's front would require a transformer of 30W, while a 600W transformer would be required at the back. Keep in mind to buy a transformer which has more capacity than your requirement, since you may come up with other illumination areas which may have slipped out of your plan.

6. Hang the transformer at least 12 inches above the ground. For direct wiring, knockouts are generally provided.

7. Remember to lay every fixture on the ground on the graph paper locations. Then run the cable by each fixture, above the ground. The cables can be covered with mulch or any other substance not requiring a lot of money. Refer some online manuals to know about how to install low voltage outdoor lighting.

8. Get the fixtures attached by cutting through the main cable. Then, insert both the cable ends into in and connect it to the socket using wire-nuts.

9. Prior to burying the cable or securing the fixtures, remember to turn the transformer on at night, and for a good effect, reposition the fixtures if necessary. The volt system can be disconnected easily and the fixtures can be relocated for adjusting the aiming angle with no worries about shocks.

10. The so can be sliced through with a spade, or a trough can be made in the mulch for running the cable. The cable needs to be forced into the spade opening for avoiding damage to the wire.

11. The fixture stake needs to be pressed into the spade opening till the posts come to rest at ground. The base can be secured to a deck, fence, etc.